Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series) - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 287 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
4.78/5 rDev +27.1%
This is a very strong beer. A great intensity of flavor and aromas. Not a session beer, but definately worth holding on to for a couple of years because this one will improve with time. I love almost all of Southern Tiers beers, but this one takes the cake. It is big and bold but with a lot of complexity to it which makes it so amazing. I would recommend this for long time beer lovers, but not for newbies. Enjoy responsibly because this beer packs quite the wollop.
10-14-2008 12:58:54 | More by cumansky
4.78/5 rDev +27.1%
22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.
Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch soft, foamy light tan head that dissipates quickly into a persistent froth on the surface of the beer, leaving a few spots of lacing. Pours a very hazy light amber, and leaves sweeping lacing around that glass that sticks around the whole time.
Smell: At first the smell has a very interesting herbal, grassy character, with some nice woody notes. Slight caramel. Mild, unidentifiable (to me at least) spicy notes, with some very subtle vanilla and coconut. There's a note that borders on sour but doesn't really get there. As the beer warms, it emits a big aroma of caramel and (to a lesser degree) alcohol. Very nice.
Taste: First sip: wow. I was kind of getting my hopes up for this one, which is usually folly... but I was hoping it would taste like this. Vanilla, coconut, some deep almond and caramel notes moving into a really full toasted malt finish. Up front there's a restrained hop bitterness and burst of carbonation that eases gracefully into smokey almond and caramel. It's sweet, but not candy sweet. The French oak definitely makes itself known in the flavor. Has some characteristics of a nice spicy cake; almost like rum cake. Some warming alcohol comes in as I get deeper into the glass, but like *everything* in this beer, it's nice and subtle (doesn't taste anywhere near 11% ABV). The background of hops and alcohol keep all the sweetness in line.
I don't want to hand out 5.0s lightly, but this is really an amazing beer. The almond, caramel, slight coconut and vanilla, hops, toasted malt, all of it is balanced perfectly, and the overall flavor has a rich depth while still remaining understated and soft. Beautiful.
Mouthfeel: Deliciously creamy, closer to full- than medium-bodied, but yet still delicate. Helpful, active carbonation mainly felt up front, and a mild warming sensation from the alcohol. Comes close to sticky but never gets there. Perfect for the flavor.
Drinkability: How could I not want to drink more of beer this good? The only thing keeping it from a 5.0 is that it has a bit of a dessert quality to it, and I'm not sure I could drink it too often. Then again, I can't see why I would ever say no to a beer like this.
It will be a sad day when brewers take heed of the curmudgeons on the BA forums that want the "barrel aging fad" to end. For me, beers like this totally vindicate the concept. Delicious and subtle, this is a world class beer.
03-26-2010 00:07:04 | More by Pahn
4.75/5 rDev +26.3%
Appearence: A lovely copper, deep orange hue.
Smell: almond, almond biscotti, honey, and toasted almond
T: slight hop, subtle hop, coconut, almond biscotti. Nice rendition. An american version of a Belgian Triple? Very nice.
M: Creamy, hefty, hides alcohol well for an 11% brew.
D: Lovely. Creamy for all the right reasons. An American string ale. Reminds me of a great tripel. I almost passed on this due to the $11.99 price tag in CT. Well worth the duckets paid. I'm buying another to cellar. Great beer.
10-25-2008 07:05:27 | More by Zippie9999
4.72/5 rDev +25.5%
Had from a 22oz bottle.
Appearance was darker than I expected, sort of an amber-blonde cross. The nose is somewhat subdued, but you definitely get a honey maltiness and some floral aromas as well. Fantastic flavors, including vanilla, coconut, creme brulee, and dates. Very rich and creamy on the palate. Clearly high quality oak was used, because this beer takes on the flavors very well.
If you don't like sweetness in your beers then this probably isn't for you, but if you generally like malty ales you really must try this. It's one of the best wood-aged beers I've had for quite a while.
As for 'drinkability', this is one you really can't have more than about 10oz of because it's so rich, so I recommend splitting a bottle with somebody. But I gave it a 5 because 'drinkability' is a silly way to evaluate a beer.
11-01-2008 22:52:23 | More by mt5000
4.68/5 rDev +24.5%
Orange-red sunset in color, the head doesn't amount to much and disappears quickly. Hardly even a crown is left...looks aged and calm, though hardly unappealing.
The nose is something I want to sniff forever. Wood and white grape give away its history of sitting in French oak, while an herbal, flowery and politely spicy element has the alcohol and hops mingling nicely. A dash of white pepper. Nutty, as in toasted-nut nutty. Each whiff brings in something new and interesting.
Flavor is as complex as expected, and everything is carefully, deftly balanced. Sweet nuttiness takes over in the flavor, dominant but not cloying. Hazelnut liqueur character reminds me somewhat of Frangelico; coconut gives an exotic edge; wood is young and earthy; honey; vanilla; light caramel touch; pleasant warming from the alcohol, far from boozy. Intersects just a little with a wheat wine, otherwise this is very nearly style-less and all the better for its individuality. Sweet and dessert-y, smooth and insanely well balanced.
Mouth is buoyant and bright, just barely sticks to the mouth while the hazelnut/almond/alcohol team does its thing in the finish. Smooth and gliding.
Oh man, this is just incredible...or not, since Southern Tier usually excel in their big beer experiments. Well worth the price, and I can't wait to try Series 2.
03-24-2010 22:16:00 | More by Metalmonk
4.6/5 rDev +22.3%
Body was a clear deep amber color. Off white head was two inches of tight froth, and held a few minutes. Minuscule bubbles can be seen rising at the top. Thick and sticky lace rings.
Sweet aromas up front with a hint of alcohol. Toffee and a very light coconut. A very light wood presence from the barrel aging. Also a very light tobacco note.
Very earthy grain with a mixture of the same tastes that the aroma hinted at. Toffee remains strong, and tobacco smoke picks up a bit. Coconut stays light. A nice vanilla in the finish.
Nice viscosity on the tongue. Tastes cling and shift under a bit of carbonation tingle.
A great brew. Perfect for any dish with a thick brown sauce or gravy. This is a must try. If you are lucky enough to lay your hands upon it, don't miss out. Prove of a whole being better then any one part.
10-12-2008 05:17:14 | More by RedChrome
4.58/5 rDev +21.8%
Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz./650 ml bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Served in a snifter
The beer poured a glowing, orangey-amber color. No head was present but merely a small whisp of bubbly froth that quickly dissipated. Trickling drops of lacing cascaded down the glass with each sip.
The aroma was incredibly sweet and fragrant. Almost candy-like. Bourbon, oak and vanilla dominated. Brown sugar and toasted coconut came through strong. Some bright, fruity, peach-like aromas were also noticeable, along with a hint of white raisins.
The taste was quite similar to the aroma, except perhaps a bit more dry. Sweet and bourbony up front. Honey-like. Malty rich and spicy with loads of vanilla, oak and pithy fruit flavors. The finish was big and boozy. Super dry, toasty, tannic and woody. Citrusy hops (candied orange peel was noticeable) came through as well, providing a nice balance to this otherwise sweet and boozy brew.
The mouthfeel was creamy and somewhat sudsy on the palate. Overly foamy with a lively, large bubbled carbonation. Much thinner-bodied than I anticipated. The residual sugars left a sticky coating on my lips.
Of all the beers I have tried that pass the 10% ABV threshold, this was definitely one of the most drinkable. I would have guessed it to be in the 8-9% range. While the the oak and sweetness in this brew were both intense, they definitely did not overwhelm my palate.
I was very impressed with this first release in Souther Tier's Cuvee Series and I am looking forward to what is yet to come.
02-14-2009 15:18:51 | More by Damian
4.58/5 rDev +21.8%
A: Deep amber and orange. Extremely cloudy. Very short off-white head with no retention. Some lacing on the finish of the pour.
S: Lemon, chamomile, oak, bread, and alcohol. Hints of cantaloupe and other tea spices are dominant in the nose as well. Lots of complex fruity aromas.
T/M: Smooth mixture of chamomile, molasses and lemon zest on the initial sip. Evens out to a soft body filled with bready malts and rich barley. Flavors of other complex fruits (bananas, plums, cantaloupe and others) and wet wood reveal themselves throughout the drink. Boozy, but fantastically smooth for an 11%. Oak and molasses on the finish. A really rich, smooth and complex brew. Medium body with low carbonation.
D: A really interesting ale. Inventive flavors, VERY easy to drink, and surprisingly smooth overall.
08-08-2011 02:11:13 | More by YouSkeete
4.53/5 rDev +20.5%
Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a roacky ecru head that dribbles lacing down the sides of my tulip
Smell: Warmly inviting blend of oak, vanilla, toffee, almonds, dried golden fruit and honeysuckle
Taste: Opens with a toffee, almond and vanilla blend that adds oaky complexity by mid-palate, with dried fruit and honey flavors arriving as well; after the swallow, the honeysuckle candi sugar flavor dominates, with the other elements adding balance underneath
Mouthfeel: Thick body with low carbonation; considerable warmth in the gullet
Drinkability: Although I would prefer a spritelier body, the flavor profile of this beer is quite compelling and is one of those beers to drink by the fireplace with a good book in hand
03-15-2009 18:36:22 | More by brentk56
4.5/5 rDev +19.7%
A big thanks goes out to Guzzle for providing this gem to me in a recent trade. I had been wanting to try this one forever and it looks like I finally got my wish. Served at a decently chilled temperature and allowed to warm up nicely. This one was decanted into an oversized wine glass and consumed on 11/18/2008.
The pour was rather bland for me. A nice color of burnt amber, that was somewhat cloudy, but mostly translucent to be honest. No real carbonation to speak of on this one, rather all that was there was a touch of light foam on the top that faded quickly to leave behind nothing more then a naked and bare top.
The aroma was top notch though. A deep whiff of vanilla and woody touches hit me all at once. Lots of depth and complexity here for sure. Rich notes of grain, malted sugar and oak were all over this. One of the most pleasing aromas I have found in quite a long time. The flavor surpassed even that though. So smooth, I really was in awe that this one has slipped by my radar this long. Rich notes of vanilla and oak, layered on top of a biscuit like mid palate that really resembled a nice well balanced barley wine at times, but without the huge hop nose. Consistent flavor throughout with a medium body that served well enough to coat the tongue throughout the session. Huge abv here is soo well masked that I was really caught off guard and by the time the bottle was done, I was hurting to say the least.
Overall this was really and truly an excellent beer. Something I would love to try again, and in fact I just ordered some today as I would like to see how this one will hold up for sure.
11-20-2008 11:57:17 | More by mikesgroove
4.5/5 rDev +19.7%
Pours a crystal clear light amber color with a really light tan colored loose head that fades quickly, leaving little Belgian lacing. There is, however, a haziness with the last pour from the bottom. The smell is aggressive and unique. Very sweet...it must be a "cuvee" of the cream brulee and well, who knows what? i like the honey vanilla analogy, but i also get a harvest fruit mix, but then the dregs at the bottom ruin that some...scoring points for complexity. Full flavored, the taste is the creme product toned down a factor of about three with a nice hop stamp and the oak aged character. The mouth feel is ful bodied and "coating" without being syrupy. The 11% ABV is a kick, but well integrated into the mouth and flavors. A real nice drinker...IMO!!
11-05-2008 01:00:25 | More by jjayjaye
4.47/5 rDev +18.9%
southern tier cuvee series 1
Saved up for this bottle for a few weeks, I am a huge fan of the extreme talent exibited by the brewers at Southern Tier. If they can make a an ale aged on Belgian Chocolates as immaculate as Choklat, a coffee infused stout as complex as Jahva, leaving a IPA unfiltered to result in pure hop bliss (Unearthly) then aging in French Oak should present no challenge to these guys.
Initial apperance of a malty golden colored ale. Light head wispy, settles quickly, light bubbly carbonation keeps the glass moving. It's a slightly more golden-hue than most super-malted American Strong Ales. I sense a fine glass of delicately crafted perfection in my near future.
Upfront a wave of malty coconut, vanilla, smokiness from the oak, hops come into play keeping all in tight balance. Slightly sweet tangerines, apricot . Alcohol is kept in check, but very apparent. Call me crazy, but a Belgianesque yeastiness is appreciated. Spicy peppery phenols, banana, white grapes, clove, nasturium, musty hays- Im getting a Oaked aged Westmalle in a glass. This smells absolutley drinkably wonderful.
Flavor is amazingly smooth. Its like the perfect Barleywine with all rough edges removed. Coconuts, Belgian Triple- candied sugars, vanilla. I have to stop sipping to type. Is there alcohol in this? Creamy bananas, grapefruits cut by a gentle hoppiness that balances the flavor as well as the aroma. Spicy, rummy white raisins, maybe even a suggestion of white chocolate.White wine poached spiced pears. A kaliedoscope of delicately balanced flavor all kept in check by a slightly alcoholic bite on the finish.
Mouthfeel is creamy, yet extremely balanced on the finish. Once again, Triple is called to mind.Drinkability is great, it really is difficult to not down the glass(limited by price). I hope to secure and age another one of the bottles.
This beer is immensley smooth and drinkable, I really was suprised by the Triple qualities of this brew. Congratulation Southern Tier, I can't wait for Series 2
02-28-2009 01:40:20 | More by czfreeman
4.45/5 rDev +18.4%
This beer pours a copper color with not much head retention and little aroma to speak of, with the oak aroma being the most relevant.
There is also a slight buttery to almost vanilla smell to this offering.
The taste is a buttery, sweet flavor with a hint of bourbon and vanilla.
For an 11% American Strong Ale this beer is smooth. Although a bit pricey ($17 a bottle in the Pittsburgh area) I would recommend this beer for at least a one-time tasting.
11-27-2008 03:35:34 | More by sickpuppy
4.45/5 rDev +18.4%
Beautiful box beautiful beer. A chestnut color with some orange hues. Pours with good carbonation anda healthy thick off white head that has great long retention especially considering the ABV. Nice thin sticky lacing as well.
Nose of alcohol, belian spices, candy sugar, hints of clove, white pepper, rhubarb, wood, hints of ginger and other roots.
First thing to note is the amazing big and creamy mouthfeel of this beer. Completely coats the mouth and is velvety smooth. Amazing!!
Very well balanced beer with only hints of alcohol showing in the finish and a moderate burn in the chest. Fig and date in the mouth but somewhat dry on the finish with only hints of the oak showing through. More white pepper, belgian spice, caramel, candy sugar, clove, and other dried fruits. Easy sipping and very tasty. Not over the top with anything just almost perfectly balanced.
10-17-2008 20:03:13 | More by mcallister
4.45/5 rDev +18.4%
This poured a clear, bright mahogany copper with a bit of off-white head. It smelled fairly complex, like apricot hops and sugary caramel, with grapefruit and molasses and sweet yeast, and a bit of honey and oak and alcohol. It tasted like strong orange peel and pine hops, with sweet caramel and honey malt, and a bit of french oak and almond. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a lasting bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a very delicate and intricate beer, which was very tasty and enjoyable. It had good body, and hid the alcohol fairly well. It was easy enough to drink, but I definitely preferred to sip it to enjoy it longer. Very nice. Plus, I could see the orange peel fading and more malty sweetness developing with age, which could be quite nice also.
12-27-2008 18:56:34 | More by Pencible
4.4/5 rDev +17%
Appearance - pours a hazed coppery orange, a thin cap of cream colored head.
Aroma - slightly syrupy, fruity nose like a barleywine at first. As it sets up, some light but fragrant woody, bourbon tones come out. There is a sweetness as well, like a rum cake.
Taste - citrusy, biscuity malts, mirroring the syrupy fruit of the nose. Vanilla and oak follow, very nicely integrated. A touch of balancing hops give a small bite, giving way to abv warmth on the swallow, and a smooth bourbon ale finish. Impressively balanced without too much of any one flavor.
Mouthfeel - creamy, syrupy, and smooth. Just enough carbonation to get your attention, but no more.
Drinkability - very enjoyable sipper tonight. Ought to age with the best of 'em too. I did not guess this at 11%, it drinks more like 8 to 9%.
05-25-2009 12:54:55 | More by brewdlyhooked13
4.38/5 rDev +16.5%
22 oz bottle
yet another gem sent to me by IBUnit63, thanks man!
Pours a glowing amber color..head is small and sticks around for a short time before receding to a small ring.
Apricot, tangerine, green apple, orange peel, and peach fruit flavors blend together nicely with the warmth of the sweet melted caramel malt..vanilla-tinged oak is noticed, but only an accent to an already great brew. Any alcohol in this (and who are we kidding here, there is a good amount) is actually hardly noticed. Full body, relatively low carbonation. Even with a mouthfeel that is fairly slick, it is remarkably smooth & easy to drink.
Well worth a try, Southern Tier delivers once again.
11-30-2008 05:01:32 | More by hero27
4.35/5 rDev +15.7%
22oz brown bottle shared at Delaney's, poured into a nonic half pint.
A: Slightly hazed medium amber body with half an inch of tan head. Reasonable retetion and minimal lacing. Thoroughly acceptable for such a strong beer, but far from beautiful.
S: Sweet, rich, oaky, and complex. Toasty malt, coconut, candied tree nuts, and vanilla. The oak and malt really play well together.
T: Opens with toasted oak, then big malts appear alongside the nutty complexity. Slight bitterness on the finish keeps the malt and oak sweetness in check. Delicious.
M: Quite smooth and clean medium body (esp. for the ABV) with a generous amount of soft carbonation. Lovely.
D: Quite good for 11%, but it was definitely a good idea to split this bottle three ways.
Notes: This was consumed immediately before Cuvee Series Two, and was the unanimous favorite at our table. I was a bit surprised, as I hated the idea of preferring European oak to good old Quercus Alba (American White Oak), but this one was simple more complex, more intricate, and more delicious.
08-30-2010 17:23:25 | More by woosterbill
4.35/5 rDev +15.7%
Bottle from River's Bend.
Poured clear copper color with an average frothy off-white head that was mostly lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy almond and woody aroma. Medium to full body. Medium woody bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration.
My expectations where met.
11-17-2008 13:23:00 | More by tmoneyba
Cuvee Series One (Oak Aged Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.